Technological innovation in the form of digital marketplaces has the potential to radically improve consumer well-being through expanded choice, convenience, and access to information. But government regulations sometimes stymie that innovation in ways that are tangibly harmful to consumers.
One particularly prevalent and pernicious form of regulation is occupational licensing. Occupational licensing is essentially a government-issued permission slip required to enter certain regulated occupations. The share of U.S. workers required to hold an occupational license has exploded from around 5% in 1950 to 25% in 2020. Many occupations within the home services industry––which employs nearly six million American workers––require an occupational